On Sodom Pond

Postcards from rural Vermont

A thousand losses

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july 21 004

It dies when you pick it. It dies when the wind uproots it.

Things die.

I’ve been afraid to pick the spinach, to harvest the lettuce, to finish up the mesclun. Afraid of them being gone. Afraid of no more. Afraid of bye-bye. Because I don’t know what comes next. The radishes are gone, the peas getting to the end of their time…

If I pick and eat, and nothing follows…then what?

Joseph Campbell said , “Vegetarians are people who cannot hear tomatoes screaming.” He also reminded us to “participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world.”

 “All narrative is born in loss,” said the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan.

I am calling on all my big important friends to get through.

My favorite by Louise Gluck, from a Q&A after a reading at a Lesley MFA residency, and emblazoned on my heart ever since:

If you refuse to do things in order to protect the work you haven’t done, you are refusing your life.

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